Vol. 38, #8 - July 15, 2013 - Issue #938
R2 Preview - Part 1
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview - Part 1
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- WindowsNetworking.com Webinar: Is it Time to Graduate from WNLB?
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Resources
- Broadcom driver fix
- Product Review - Netwrix Auditor
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 8.5 Now Available
- Comparing Disaster Recovery options for VMware vSphere
- TechNet Radio: (Part 4) Infrastructure as a Service: Windows Azure vs. Amazon & Rackspace
- Windows Server News
- Matching cloud SLA promises to your uptime requirements
- Top 5 VDI questions your help desk will get
- Consider hiding the price tag when comparing vSphere vs. Hyper-V
- Starting out with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- FREE Desktop Tool: Real-Time Monitoring for Windows Based Network Devices
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter and the next are all about the Preview release of Windows Server 2012 R2. Previews are fun, especially if they're previews of movies. I like movies, especially ones with Kevin Bacon in them. Know why? Ratbert explains in this week's comic:
From the Mailbag
If you recall, in the previous issue of this newsletter I said I tried searching for BYOD on Dilbert.com and got null results. I concluded that Dilbert is behind the times when it comes to enterprise computing.
It turns out I was wrong.
A reader named Stuart sent me the following email:
Actually, I think [Dilbert] was a little ahead of the times--see this one from 1995:
Dilbert leads the way, don't you think?
Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview - Part 1
I must admit I'm pretty blown away by the new features and enhancements in Windows Server 2012 R2. It's pretty clear that Microsoft's long-standing commitment to cloud computing is beginning to take shape. I've been spending a lot of time these last couple of weeks evaluating the Preview release of Windows Server 2012 R2, and I want to share my thoughts and impressions about it in this and next week's issues of WServerNews so readers can get a head start on the capabilities of the platform. The simplest way is if I limit myself to just ten things, so to start here are five things you should know about Windows Server 2012 R2.
And if you've had a chance to try out Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview yourself, feel free to share your impressions with me by emailing me at [email protected]
If you haven't tried out Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview yet, you can download it from here:
So without any further ado, here are Ten Things You Should Know About Windows Server 2012 R2...
A Short Personal Note
Oops, forgot to mention something before I get started talking about Windows Server 2012 R2. I just found out that my free ebook Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition from Microsoft Press has now been downloaded over 675,000 times since it was released. Pretty cool, eh? Meh...
Besides the reason of personal vanity, the other reason I mentioned that is because if you're not already familiar with what's new in Windows Server 2012 then the stuff about R2 in the editorial below might go over your head. If that's the case, you might want to download by free ebook today and read it first. Here's where you can get it in PDF, EPUB or MOBI format:
And now on to R2...
Thing Number ONE: The Cloud OS
Stop thinking of Windows Server as a mere server operating system. Instead, think of it as one part of a "cloud operating system" or what Microsoft calls the Cloud OS. Yeah, that's a buzzword, but with the R2 release it's also a lot closer to reality than it's ever been. There are three parts to the Cloud OS:
- Windows Server - provides the foundation for building cloud solutions whether private, hosted or public
- System Center - provides the management capability for private, hosted and public clouds
- Windows Azure - Microsoft's own public cloud platform, built of course on Windows Server and System Center
In this R2 release, all three of these components are more closely tied together than ever. For example, you should really view System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as the de facto tool for managing Hyper-V hosts and their virtual machines. And you can use Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager to orchestrate the replication of your on-premises private cloud from your primary data center to your disaster recover site. That's just a simple example of how Windows Server, System Center, and Windows Azure can work in harmony. And you can be sure that the release following R2 will tie these three platforms together even more closely.
In fact, one of the options on the page where you can download Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview is to run the preview in Windows Azure! That's a lot faster than having to download the installation bits or a pre-configured VHD! Pretty nifty idea! Here's the download link again:
Thing Number TWO: Gen2 VMs
Until now virtual machines running on Hyper-V have used a standard set of emulated legacy hardware devices like the AMI BIOS, Intel 440BX chipset, S3 Trio display adapter, and so on. You also needed a virtual IDE controller because VMs couldn't boot from SCSI disks. What a drag.
With Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 however, when you create a new VM you now have the option of making it a "Generation 2" VM that has no legacy devices, can boot from SCSI, and even supports UEFI Secure Boot:
Figure 1: Creating a Gen2 VM.
So long, AMI BIOS. Well, not maybe yet since Gen2 VMs must be running Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 as their guest operating system.
Thing Number THREE: Extended Replication
Hyper-V Replica was introduced in Windows Server 2012 as a simple way of performing asynchronous replication of VMs between two Hyper-V hosts or host clusters. Hyper-V Replica is great as a low-cost disaster recovery solution as it provides an in-box solution for replicating your virtual machines from your primary datacenter to your DR datacenter.
But what if you want to replicate the replicas? With Windows Server 2012 you couldn't do that because Hyper-V Replica only worked across a single hop. In R2 however, you can now replicate across two hops (A to B to C) using Hyper-V Replica.
Who would want to do this? Hosting providers for one. With Windows Server 2012 R2, a hosting provider can now offer customers the service of replicating customer VMs from the customer premises to the hoster's primary datacenter and then to the hoster's secondary datacenter. This means the hoster can use Hyper-V Replica to provide their customers with a simple and effective DR service. Pretty cool!
Thing Number FOUR: VHDX support for iSCSI Target Server
An iSCSI Target allows Windows Server share block storage remotely. This is great if you're running server applications that need block storage but you can't afford a SAN and the HBAs and cabling that are needed to access it. Instead, you simply install the iSCSI Target Server component on one server and use it to provision iSCSI virtual disks and LUNs for use by other servers.
The iSCSI Target was first made available as a free download for Windows Server 2008 R2. Then in Windows Server 2012, the iSCSI Target Server role service was added to the File and Storage Services role. But when you create iSCSI virtual disks in Windows Server 2012, they are backed by VHD files which means they're limited in size to 2 TB. That's not much where server applications are concerned, especially applications that utilize block storage.
In R2 however, iSCSI virtual disks by default are backed by VHDX files and can be used to provision LUNs up to 64 TB in size. In addition, you can now fully manage your iSCSI storage system using VMM. There's that Cloud OS thing again (see Thing Number ONE above).
Thing Number FIVE: SMB Bandwidth Management
Version 3.0 of the Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing protocol was introduced in Windows Server 2012 as a way of enhancing the availability, reliability, performance and manageability of file servers. SMB 3.0 makes possible the Scale-out File Server, a clustered file server that can store VM files for Hyper-V with the same kind of availability, reliability, performance and manageability you previously had to use a SAN in order to achieve.
It gets better in Windows Server 2012 R2 however. For example, among the many SMB 3.0 improvements in R2 is one called SMB Bandwidth Management, which allows you to control how much bandwidth is used based on the type of SMB traffic being carried. This is pretty cool because it means for example that instead of using two physical Ethernet networks (and three NICs in your Hyper-V hosts) where one network provides access to the virtual machines running on the hosts and the other is used for live migration between the hosts, you can now use a single physical network (and one NIC) to do the same without worrying about one type of traffic starving out the other type.
Thing Number SIX
Stay tuned for next week's issue! And follow me on Twitter to find out my 50 Fav Features of Windows Server 2012 R2:
Send us feedback
What do you think of Windows Server 2012 R2? Let us know at [email protected]
Tip of the Week
PowerTip: Use PowerShell 3 to determine the DNS suffix search list
This week Microsoft Scripting Guy Ed Wilson shows how to use Windows PowerShell 3.0 on Windows 8 (or on Windows Server 2012) to determine the DNS suffix search list.
Question: You are having name resolution problems on your Windows 8 computer. You want to use Windows PowerShell to see what the DNS suffix search list is. How can you do this?
Answer: Use the Get-DnsClientGlobalSetting cmdlet. It returns the SuffixSearchList property. This technique appears here.
Ed Wilson is the bestselling author of eight books about Windows Scripting, including Windows PowerShell 3.0 Step by Step, and Windows PowerShell 3.0 First Steps. He writes a daily blog about Windows PowerShell call Hey, Scripting Guy! that is hosted on the Microsoft TechNet Script Center; for more PowerTips check out the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog.
Recommended for Learning
Here's a PowerShell announcement from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
Jump Start July 18: Getting Started with PowerShell 3.0
Mark your calendar for a powerful one-day hands-on Jump Start designed to teach busy IT Professionals about this powerful management tool. This is a unique opportunity to learn from the inventor of PowerShell himself: Jeffrey Snover, and Jason Helmick, Senior Technologist at Concentrated Technology. how to improve your management capabilities, automate redundant tasks and manage your environment in scale. Register at:
And here's a PowerShell book to check out:
PowerShell for SharePoint 2013: How-To (SAMS Publishing)
Very concise and task-focused book. Like!
Quote of the Week
"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one." --Bill Gates
Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
SolarWinds free terrific trio of AD admin tools makes it easier than ever to add and remove users and computers in Microsoft® Active Directory. Three tools in one easy download. Try them today!
Free Tool: Idera Server Backup Free – fast, disk-based continuous data protection for Windows and Linux servers – backs up and restore files in minutes
Solve your small office storage needs with this 4-bay NAS server:
Get a graphical user interface and script editor for Windows PowerShell:
Microsoft TechEd Australia on September 3-6, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia
Microsoft TechEd New Zealand on September 10-13, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand
Add your event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
WindowsNetworking.com Webinar: Is it Time to Graduate from WNLB?
Are you avoiding deployment of an advanced Load Balancer due to concerns about the complexity involved? Do you rely on MS WNLB because of its ease of implementation? What additional features are available with an intelligent load balancer, are they worth the cost and are they really all that complicated? These are some of the important questions that Network administrators need to answer when deciding if the time is right to make the change from using MS WNLB to another Load Balancing solution.
Join J. Peter Bruzzese, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Cofounder/CIO of ClipTraining on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 at 11am ET / 10am CT / 8am PT to learn tips and secrets about load balancing, when it’s time to move up from using MS NLB, and which types of load balancers to consider.
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
This week and the next we'll focus mostly on links to where you can learn more about Windows Server 2012 R2.
Windows Server 2012 R2 Resources
Download Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview from the TechNet Evaluation Center here:
Windows Server 2012 R2 on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform here:
What's New in Windows Server 2012 R2 in the TechNet Library here:
See also the Windows Server Blog on TechNet here:
You can find videos and slide decks about Windows Server 2012 R2 from Microsoft TechEd North America 2013 on Channel 9 here:
Post your questions about Windows Server 2012 R2 to the Windows Server forums on TechNet here:
Next week we'll list some key blogs that are covering the new capabilities in R2.
Now on to some other stuff...
Broadcom driver fix (Flo's Datacenter Report)
Broadcom fixed with this driver the performance issue when VMQ on the Hyper-V host (Windows Server 2012) is enabled.
Product Review - Netwrix Auditor (WindowsSecurity.com)
Deb Shinder reviews Netwrix Auditor which provides configuration auditing for a variety of platforms including Active Directory, Group Policy, Exchange, and more.
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 8.5 Now Available (Microsoft Download Center)
MAP 8.5 adds new scenarios to help organizations assess their environments with greater agility and lower their cost of delivery.
Comparing Disaster Recovery options for VMware vSphere (Viktorious.nl)
This article compares vSphere Replication, Site Recovery Manager using VMware vSphere Replication, Site Recovery Manager using Array Based Replication, Veeam Backup & Replication version 6.5, and Zerto’s Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery solution for Enterprise.
TechNet Radio: (Part 4) Infrastructure as a Service: Windows Azure vs. Amazon & Rackspace (Channel 9)
Matt Hester and Microsoft MVP Jeffrey Palermo compare the features and benefits of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service.
Thanks to Florian Klaffenbach for providing some of the items in this section. Be sure to check out Flo's Datacenter Report:
Matching cloud SLA promises to your uptime requirements
Moving your apps to the cloud can deliver key benefits like flexibility and agility, but it’s essential to establish thorough service-level agreements (SLAs) with your cloud provider to protect your business from disruptive downtime. Inside, learn how to align your SLAs with your business requirements.
Top 5 VDI questions your help desk will get
Once you successfully roll out virtual desktops in your organization, many of your end-users will likely need help adjusting to their new computing environments. Review the top 5 VDI help desk questions you should expect to get and learn how to effectively and efficiently address them.
Consider hiding the price tag when comparing vSphere vs. Hyper-V
When comparing vSphere and Hyper-V, what happens when you eliminate cost from the equation? While your financial department may not agree, this approach may be the way to go. Discover the critical factors you should consider – other than price tag – when evaluating vSphere and Hyper-V.
Starting out with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1
Many organizations are taking advantage of VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for small-scale virtualization projects, and for good reason – the virtualization platform comes free of charge. Learn more about this VMware offering and how to successfully install and utilize it in your IT environment.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Here's one I think you'll like. Found this on Twitter. Almost makes me want to buy a Honda:
A Rube Goldberg contraption powered by dogs and their favorite toys.
If you need to remove rust from your car’s bumper, don’t buy expensive cleaners – use Coca-Cola instead!
SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of vertical rocket take-off and landing.
France Has An Incredible Talent: 11 year old Raffi wows the audience with an incredible Rock 'n' Roll performance:
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com
Ingrid Tullochis Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.